Looking back at the season, my last fanpost (Potential 6-10 targets because there is no way we win the lottery) sure does look foolish. Leading in to the lottery I think we all had very similar feelings, we were all so sure it wasnt going to happen we almost expected it to happen. Now that it did happen it really does open up nearly endless possibilities on how this offseason can playout, if I had it my way this is how I would do it...
I love Evan Turner's game, his defensive versatility and the comparisons some have made to Scottie Pippen make me wonder if we may have finally found a compliment to Gilbert and some of his Jordan-esque qualities. As intriguing as that may sound though I just dont see a way you pass up on Wall. Look at the Oden/Durant case, in that situation I think there was an even better case for going with Durant over Oden (then there is with going Turner over Wall). Even the biggest Durant supporters and Oden detractors could have imagined a wider gap between the two, but there is still (little to) no hate on portland for making that move. Could you imagine if the positions were swapped?? If Portland did go for Durant only to see him muscled around while Oden developed into an uglier dwight howard?? Portland would be laughed out of the league. In situations like this I think you have to go with the Wall/Oden type and let the Durant/Turners prove you wrong.
Now that we have "decided" on Wall it leaves us with the question on how to fill out the rest of the roster. Everyone's natural assumption is Gilbert moving to the SG spot and calling it a day, I just dont see it happening. I was very outspoken on how I didnt see how you could reintroduce Gilbert to a locker room with so many young and impressionable players (namely Blatche, Young, and McGee). Now we are going to add a player like Wall, a 19 year old stud with as much potential as the previous 3 players combined, and have Gilbert being the closest thing to a veteran influence in the whole locker room?? The first time Wall sees Gilbert blow flip off, dog it in practice, or not buy into a defensive philosophy we can kiss Flip gooodbye... he has officially lost the 1 member of the team he didnt lose last year during the Blatche saga. Indulge me for one minute and we'll get right back to my plans for Gilbert.
Moving into free agency... any right thinking basketball fan has to have Lebron on the top of any wishlist. Sure the competition is going to be tough but (with Wall) I think we can not only compete with any other possible destination but also offer what no other team can... a legitimate sign and trade option with the Cavaliers. No one is saying that Gilbert would be their first option, more that it could be their only option. No other team could offer the Cavs a player that they could use to at least stay competitive (for the 8th playoff spot that is) while still giving Lebron a chance to win with his new team. Sure we might have to include a future pick or two, Cleveland might have to get the spin machine working on how poor Gilbert simply a victim of circumstance and DCs crazy gun laws but I really think this is a possibility. Lebron gets to play in (believe it or not) a major market, the contract he thought could have only had in Cleveland, and a great chance to win. Cleveland gets to get something in return for LBJ and doesnt have to endure the embarassment of being the first team going from the best record in the league to the worst (with a team built around vareajo, jamison, and jj hickson can you expect and better??).
The scary thing is that after this move we would still have enough cap room to sign a max free agent plus some other help. Looking first at our own free agents... Shaun Livingston was 1st on everyones list to resign but after picking up 2 distributors in Wall and James does he still fit?? Would we want more of a scoring PG to now come in after Wall?? Could that scoring PG be Randy Foye?? Without having to worry about distributing the ball could he finally excel in more of a spot up jumpshooting role?? Speaking of spot up jumpshooters, I cant think of many in the league much better than Mike Miller (also supposed to a friend of lebrons). Could the added talent around him make his passivity less of an issue?? I would lean towards keeping Mike Miller first but Ive always been overly partial towards him and honestly cant decide what I would want to do with the rest.
Looking around the rest of the league there are 3 names I would target first... Joe Johnson - currently lebron is playing the 2 in this pipe dream with Al Thornton playing the 3. With JJ coming in at SG it lets Lebron slide to the 3 (IMO his more natural position) with Al coming off the bench. Rudy Gay - This would probably mean Lebron has to play the 2 but I have always been fascinated with his athleticism. Everything I hear is that Memphis wants to do everything possible to keep the restrcited free agent around though so we might not even get a chance. Finally, the third name, a surprising name to some... Brendan Haywood - Hey I love Javale McGee as much as the next guy, probably more than the next guy but Haywood can add some of the defense that McGee lacks while he continues to develop.
PG - Wall (1), G.Vasquez (34), vet pg (fish??)
SG - Lebron (S/T) ,Mike Miller (resign +/- MLE)
SF - Al Thornton, Devin Ebanks (30)
PF - Blatche
C - Haywood, McGee
(I honestly started writing up this lineup with us signing JJ and playing him at the 2. Seeing how thin that left us at 4/5 and probably without enough money to sign Haywood I changed it up. Not too worried about it though the point of this fanpost was more to start the idea of a Lebron/Gilbert sign and trade then to get a final lineup for next year.)